MartinT (7317) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 9, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Embedded star anise tries to rise above the rooty cola reminiscence. Roasted malts play a second-tier role, but with the prevalent sweetness creates stout-like passages. Sturdy conifer needles point their way once in a while.
Prominent earthiness, tree root and bark surround themselves with roasted molasses and a plethora of blackberries and mushy blueberries.Their union is balanced in an ample but easy to digest body. Negligible dryness and bitterness appear in the finale; this is unique stuff as always.
Nicely laid out ornaments do enliven the atmosphere.
DocLock (7225) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 23, 2006
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft at the Drafting Room. This one pours dep brown. The aroma was chocolatey and spicy, with a gingerbready malt presence. The flavor was like minty, spicy chocolate chip cookie dough dipped in molasses, then pureed. Well done, as usual from these guys.
Quack-Duck (7223) - Down South, GERMANY - AUG 5, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
bottle, vintage 2007, mit Dank ins Ruhrgebiet! Dark red-brown colour, large beige head. Fruity nose. Intensively malty with lots of fruit flavours: berries, plums, blackcurrant. Bitter-sweet with lovely citrusy hops that add flavours of bitter orange marmalade. Lingering finish. Delicious!
jercraigs (7182) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 31, 2005
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JAN 8, 2009 2008-12-06. Dark brown body with a modest khaki head. (3+) Sweet malt aroma, spice is well rounded, nutmeg? (7+) Sweetish flavour has a malty base, nutmeg, spice. (7+) Average plus palate. (3+) Pretty much how I remembered it from previous years! 7+/3+/7+/3+/15-16 = 3.5 <i>2008 Vintage. On tap at Coles, Buffalo</i>
2006 Vintage. Bottle at Volo. Very dark brown-black body with a smallish creamy tan head (3+). Spicy (nutmeg, cinnamon) and sweet malt in the aroma. Flavour is similar to aroma, with the addition of ovaltine/cocoa notes. Nutmeg, very light anise, sweet malt middle. Average palate. Pleasant, but as always with this one I find it hard to wrap my palate around the melange of spice flavours. 7/3+/3/7/14 - 3.4
2005 Vintage. December 2005. Draft @ Coles in Buffalo. Black body with small creamy tan head. (3+) Sweet malt with abundant but mild spice notes in the aroma. Flavour has lots of nutmeg and something I called anise that may or may not be. Mild nutty notes at some points. Plenty of malt throughout. I enjoyed this a bit more than previous years, but there is still something unharmonious about the whole package that detracts from it for my tastes.6/4/6/3/14 - 3.3
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - DEC 10, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a barely transparent dark brown with a thin, lightly-lacing tan head. Toasty spiced sugar cookie and ginger snap aroma has some citrusy hops. First taste is of Vienna malt and earthy spices with a thinner, hoppier finish. Not as good as the 2004 I just tried, but maybe give it a year. Thanks Jason for the bottle!
Drake (7123) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - FEB 26, 2008
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: DEC 10, 2008 2007 bottle from Whole Foods Charlottesville. Pours reddish-black with a very large head and mad amounts of lacing. Strong cinnamon/coffee aroma. Taste of coffee, raisin and spice &#40;anise?&#41; behind a very thin mouthfeel. Taste is good, but the rest is lacking. 6/4/7/2/11.....
12 ounce bottle from Whole Foods Market Charlottesville, 2008 release. Pours a dark brown color wirh a medium head. Highly splced, slightly tart aroma. Taste is also highly spiced with hop notes, eggnog. Medium bodied. 6/4/6/3/11
MesandSim (7121) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUN 16, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
A Sim rate (bottle from Rudiger): Ridiculously complex aroma: berries, sweet spices (particularly clove-studded oranges that you have at Christmas), cranberries, plums and brandy. Almost perfumy. Fucking amazing! Very dark black cherry colour. Flavour is lacking in the complexity of the aroma with a bittersweet finish. Plum, blackcurrant and spices pop out. Great beer!
GT2 (7108) - Riverslime, California, USA - DEC 5, 2009
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
12oz. Pours a cloudy deep red with a one finger dark tan head that has little
retention and lacing. Aroma is spice, toffee, apple cider, nutmeg, cinnamon. Taste is spicy, watery, spruce, huge medicinal feel. Lots of cough syrup, Sudafed, Nyquil. Pretty light bodied but syrupy mouthfeel. Sort of gross. I’m surprised that a brewery with as much to live up to as Anchor would actually produce something this bad every year.
gnoff (7036) - Mölndal, SWEDEN - NOV 6, 2006
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
UPDATED: NOV 19, 2006 First rating
(330 ml bottle at Haket, Göteborg) 2006 Christmas ale. Ruby red color, tan head. Spicy clove scent. Taste is clove and lots of spicy malts. Low bitterness.
Vinous a bit minty, strong sugary smell. Deep ruby red color, tan head. A bit fruity taste, thin and boring, vinous. No bitterness. Just plain too boring.
Rune (6954) - Tromsø, NORWAY - DEC 20, 2006
3.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
355ml bottle, vintage 2005, bought at Ølbutikken in Copenhagen a year ago. I suppose one year aging in the cellar has enhanced the flavour. Pours a yellow-brownish head over a deep, rusty brown body. The smell is rather weak but dark fruit offset by vanilla can be detected. Rich and complex taste of aniseed, dark malty sweetness, black coffee and spicies (a pepper note). The beer finishes off with crisply bitterness. Medium palate (20.12.2006).